You’ve probably heard rave reviews from family and friends: “Instant Pots are so easy to use! Pressure cookers are a total time-saver!” And now you may be wondering how to choose the best Instant Pot or pressure cooker for your lifestyle.
But first, what is a pressure cooker, and how is it different from an Instant Pot?
- Pressure cooker: A sealed pot that uses steam pressure to cook food quickly. If it’s also a multi-cooker, it may have extra settings like slow cooking, air frying and dehydrating.
- Instant Pot: A brand of multi-cookers that allow you to cook fast (with the pressure-cooker setting) or slow (like a slow cooker), often with just the press of a button. Again, there may be additional settings for steaming, warming, cooking rice and more.
The perks of either style:
- Pressure cooking can reduce cook time by up to 70 percent
- It removes the guesswork with pre-set cooking times and heat levels
- You can set it and go about your day
So, which pressure cooker or Instant Pot should you choose? We’ve sifted through the options to help you find the perfect match for your kitchen.
What kind of pressure cooker are you looking for?
Best Instant Pot Overall
The six-quart size is ideal for a big batch of chicken soup, but not so large that it cramps your counter space. Aside from its relatively small footprint, this programmable multi-cooker also replaces six small kitchen appliances by combining the functions of a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer and warmer—and it sautés, too. You’ll be whipping up everything from porridge to rice pilaf in no time.
- This Instant Pot also has a cake setting and an egg program.
- It’s built with the latest microprocessor technology for up to four hours of pressure-cooking, plus it has a start delay so you can fill the pot before bed or work and program it to start up to 24 hours later.
- The automatic keep-warm function works for up to 10 hours for added convenience.
I have become a ramen nerd and good broth is key to making an authentic, delicious bowl of real Japanese ramen. With the Instant Pot all you do is load it up with your ingredients, add water to the line, lock the lid and program your time; it does the rest!
Attempted to “quick release” pressure from the pot but will never do that again. It sprayed liquid and very fine food particles all over the curtains, small appliances and me. Lesson learned: include natural depressurizing in the cook-to-table time.
Best Instant Pot for Large Families
If you’re into batch cooking, this eight-quart model might be the pressure cooker for you! The hefty size is ideal for prepping several meals at once. It’s also perfect for a large family or for feeding a crowd. Best of all, there are 14 one-touch settings to choose from including beans, chili, rice and porridge, plus the coveted yogurt function.
- You’ll never have to worry about whether you remembered to close the steam-release valve because this one does it automatically when you seal the lid.
- It includes over 10 safety features including burn protection, leaky lid detection and a safety lock lid to prevent opening the cooker when it’s pressurized.
- The Duo Nova comes in other sizes including three quart, six quart and 10 quart.
It’s huge and can fit a large roast with room for potatoes. It has a non-stick surface and is incredibly easy to clean. Amazing product that seriously has changed the dinner game!
The only negative is the pot is really, really big and we don’t have enough counter space to keep it out all the time, so it’ll have to find room in a cupboard until we are ready to use it again.
Best Instant Pot on a Budget
This pot is pint-sized at just three quarts, but that actually makes it an ideal option for students and singles. Cooking for one (or two!) has never been easier. This hard-working multi-cooker has all the same smart features as its bigger counterparts, but its compact enough to slide easily into a cupboard when you want to tuck it away.
- It’s practically foolproof thanks to several built-in safety features, including overheat protection and a safety lock lid.
- It comes with many of the same accessories as the larger Instant Pots, including a steam rack, rice paddle, soup spoon, measuring cup and recipe booklet.
- This compact model is quite small, so you probably won’t be able to cook for more than two people at a time.
The pot is very small and perfect for a couple or a person who lives alone. The rice cooker can make up to four cups and two good size potatoes can fit in the pot to steam. We made ribs the other night for the two of us and they were the best I ever ate—fall-off-the-bones amazing.
The recipe book that’s included isn’t that great, but there are lots of how-tos and recipes to be found online.
Best Instant Pot for Busy Mornings
The most important meal of the day will be easier than ever to pull off with this smart multi-use pressure cooker. The egg cooking program preps soft, medium and even sous vide eggs to perfection. You can also make porridge in mere minutes and banana bread is yet another option. (Yes, we consider banana bread a breakfast food!) It’s the ideal size for a family of four.
- The delay-start timer means you can get breakfast going the night before, and the keep-warm function holds the temperature of the dish until you’re ready to serve it.
- With 10 smart built-in programs, you can make soups, stews and rice dishes in addition to breakfast favourites.
- The brushed stainless-steel exterior is finger-print resistant and comes with a large, easy-to-read display panel. Some users still wish it had clearer instructions included in the box, but there are plenty of resources on instantpot.com.
This is the best appliance I’ve ever bought. I do almost all of my cooking in it now. I’m so impressed I got one for each of my kids and they love theirs, too.
The recipes made it confusing. I still wish it worked as an air fryer.
Best Pressure Cooker with Air Fryer
Meet the ultimate in do-it-all kitchen appliances. In addition to steaming, sautéing and pressure cooking, this impressive gadget slow cooks, dehydrates (hello, DIY fruit leathers), makes yogurt and broils food, for crispy, caramelized dishes. Did we mention that this Ninja air fries, too? Just imagine all of the air-fried chicken and veggies you’ll be able to make! We’ve rounded up 7 easy air fryer recipes for families to get you started.
- The extra-large eight-quart pot allows you to cook for a crowd.
- With 14 rigorously tested safety features in place, you can cook with peace of mind.
- The five-quart air fryer basket is non-stick, dishwasher safe and hefty enough to hold a seven-pound chicken.
I think the air fry setting is very nice. I prefer that over frying with oil. This makes cooking a lot simpler and quicker, perfect for people who don’t have much time or who are not very skilled at cooking.
The only downside is when in dehydrate mode it is very noisy. I have to put it in the garage when dehydrating fruit or making jerky.
Best Pressure Cooker with Slow-Cooking Ability
Whether you’re one to prep a meal in the morning to cook all day—or the type who forgets about dinner, then realizes they need a healthy home-cooked meal ASAP—this multi-cooker has your back. Four cooking functions mean you can steam, slow cook, pressure cook or sauté with ease. Plus, it has eight pre-sets for meats and stews, beans and chili, rice and risotto, poultry, dessert, soups, yogurts and multi-grains. You can make pretty much whatever you want whenever you want.
- This six-quart non-stick Crock-Pot is dishwasher safe.
- The machine comes with a recipe book, serving spoon and steaming rack.
- A delay-start timer and keep-warm setting provide lots of flexibility when it comes to timing your meals just right.
It is so efficient and easy to use compared to my standard Crock-Pot. I love how meals can cook in 15 minutes. This has changed dinner time for our family.
My only complaint would be that it’s a little hard to find recipes online specifically for this appliance and I do wish it had a manual setting.
Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker Essentials
- Instant Pot. Benefits of Pressure Cooking.
You might also like
How we choose products: Simply put, we don’t recommend any products we wouldn’t buy ourselves. Our writers leverage a number of sources as a starting point, including reputable third-party reviews, Walmart.ca user reviews, and Walmart Canada’s category specialists. theHUB editorial staff has final say for all products included in this guide.
Any product claims noted are provided by the manufacturer, unless otherwise stated.
Prices shown are subject to change. Please check Walmart.ca for the latest pricing.
This article is intended as general information. To be sure a product is right for you, always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.